A McDonald’s restaurant. Courtesy of the company

Some fast-food workers who took to the streets in a series of protests to call for salaries of $15 an hour could be getting more money, with McDonald’s announcing Wednesday it will give raises and paid time off to some of its employees.

According to McDonald’s, workers at company-owned restaurants will be paid $1 an hour more than the prevailing minimum wage in the communities where the eateries are located, beginning July 1. Full- and part-time workers will also be able to accrue personal paid time off after one year of service.

The benefits, however, apply only to company-owned eateries, since the owners of franchised restaurants can set their own salaries. McDonald’s officials said about 10 percent of the restaurants in the country are company-owned, and the new benefits will affect about 90,000 employees.

The company said it is also hopes to assist all of its roughly 750,000 employees, in both company- and independently-owned restaurants, further their education by expanding its Archways to Education tuition-assistance program.

“We’ve listened to our employees and learned that — in addition to increased wages — paid personal leave and financial assistance for completing their education would make a real difference in their careers and lives,” McDonald’s President/CEO Steve Easterbrook said.

Workers from McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants have taken part in a series of protests in San Diego and across the country in recent months. Two marches were held in San Diego last year.

The San Diego City Council has been pushing for an increase in the city’s minimum wage, voting twice for the increase but the measure stalled because of a referendum effort by the business community.

— City News Service

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